Monday, June 16, 2014

The Inevitable Remorse Of The Bellagio Buffet

Just came back from a little R and R in Las Vegas. Despite what the surgeons might think, even anesthesiologists need to rest now and then. One of the mandatory activities one must do while in Vegas, besides the usual suspects, is the Vegas buffet. In my book, one of the top hotel buffets in the city is at the Bellagio. We go there almost every time we're in town. The anticipation is almost breathless as we wait in line to get our hands on endless crab legs, prime rib, sushi, dessert bar, and dozens of other dishes. But eventually the let down afterwards is almost too great to bear.

First of all, the price is outrageous. Sure $45 per person isn't terribly out of line when one considers the gourmet food that is offered. But that price is effective for EVERYBODY, even children. Children are considered anybody over four years old. If that isn't confiscatory pricing, I don't know what is. Even Disney charges kids' prices for those under ten. My seven year old son can eat a lot. But he certainly cannot eat $45 worth. He gets a couple of slices of pizza then heads straight to the ice cream machine. That's the most expensive pizza and ice cream this side of Chuck E. Cheese.

As for myself, my aging stomach just doesn't expand like it once did a decade ago. Back in the day, I could pile plate after plate of protein on my table and finish every last delicious morsel. Now after two trips to the buffet, I'm pretty much done if I want to leave room for those enticing desserts. Lamb chops and Beef Wellington are great but one can only eat so much without getting severe reflux, or worse, nausea. I try to balance all the protein and fat with some vegetables, but cheap fiber fills me up quickly and I feel like I'm not getting my money's worth.

Eventually all good things must come to an end and we manage to waddle ourselves out of the restaurant. That is when the real pain begins. With all the salt and cholesterol ingested, I've downed multiple glasses of free drinks to satisfy that powerful thirst. Then the fluid retention begins with a vengeance. My feet swell up so that my shoes feel a size too small. Ironically with the dry desert air, my lips are parched all the time. That means I drink even more fluids. Sleep comes fitfully that night as my thirst is unquenchable, my stomach is on the verge of returning its contents back to sender, and my legs feel leaden. Oh why did we think this was a good idea?

As I wake up in the morning to prepare for the long tortuous drive back to L.A., I can barely tie my shoes over my bloated feet. Drinking all that volume will mean I'll have to make several bathroom stops along the way instead of just cruising nonstop like we did coming here. This is probably the worst excess that has ever been hoisted on an unsuspecting public. And I'll see you again next year when I come back for more R and R.

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